Bustos, Lipinski and Jones Introduce Bipartisan “Buy America” Legislation

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) and Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-03) introduced the Buy America for Drinking Water Extension Act. This bipartisan legislation would create jobs and grow the economy by ensuring that all iron and steel products used for projects in the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) are made entirely in the United States.

“Growing our local economy and boosting the manufacturing industry in our region have always been among my top priorities – that’s why I’m introducing this bipartisan, common-sense ‘Buy America’ legislation,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Our state and federally funded construction projects should use American-made steel and iron while benefitting American workers. I’m proud to join Representatives Lipinski and Jones in this effort, and I will continue to fight for Illinois’ manufacturers and working families.”

“We must strengthen Buy America laws and close the loopholes that allow our tax dollars to employ foreign workers rather than Americans,” Congressman Lipinski said.  “Buying American is one of the fastest and most effective ways to create jobs and give the overall economy a boost.  This legislation would help ensure that we are supporting American workers, especially the hard-working middle class.”

“I believe that taxpayer dollars should solely support American-made infrastructure. Unfortunately, current provisions in the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund are weak and Buy America text is only written for FY 2017,” Congressman Jones said. “Representatives Cheri Bustos, Dan Lipinski and I introduced this legislation to ensure Congress never puts a limit on supporting this country’s economy.”

Many infrastructure projects are subject to “Buy America” provisions that require the use of American-made iron and steel. This fall, the Senate passed their version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), including a permanent “Buy America” requirement for projects funded by the DWSRF. Last week, Representative Lipinski led members, including Representatives Bustos and Jones, calling on Speaker Ryan to include “Buy America” provisions into the final WRDA bill, which is expected to be voted on tomorrow. Unfortunately, the provision was not included. Their legislation would make the “Buy America” provisions permanent for any DWSRF projects.

Original co-sponsors of the legislation include Representatives Bobby Rush (IL-01), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Rick Nolan (MN-08), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), John Garamendi (CA-03), Bill Foster (IL-11) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09).